As a culture we are pretty obsessed with relationships. Especially romantic ones.
Which makes sense, given that humans are social creatures.
But we have a specific, exaggerated way of fetishizing what it means to be in a “committed relationship”.
Women are taught to find a partner as soon as possible. Single people are assumed to be deficient in some way. And being coupled up, no matter who it’s with, is seen as some kind of symbol that you’re #winning at life.
Plus, it’s even more confusing when we go into relationships with unrealistic expectations. So in this post, it’s time to get really honest, and blow apart some of the biggest relationship myths that hold people back:
Myth #1 – Relationships will solve your deeper problems
You got in a relationship.
You did it. Congrats!
Now no-one can criticize you. You can hide safe in the refuge that you’re fully living up to society’s expectations, and your partner will completely accept every side of you, good, bad and weird, without you ever needing to change or grow.
Except, not really.
If anything, it’s the opposite. Relationships don’t hide your issues, they magnify them.
Think about it: being with someone who spends nearly every day with you, seeing you at your most annoying, most emotional – exposing all your weird habits and moods that you’d usually hide from even your closest friends. You can’t help but be nakedly vulnerable.
Relationships will test you in ways you’ve never been tested before.
Yes, if it’s a great relationship you’ll find your character matches well with your partner’s and you’re able to solve problems together. But the problems will come. And if you want to be happy in love you’ll be forced to admit you’re wrong more than you may be comfortable with. But that exposure is all part of the beauty and madness of being in love.
Myth #2 – Relationships are safe
The right relationship is safe.
The wrong relationship actually puts you behind single people who are still out there looking for “The One”.
A relationship where you have grossly mismatched values, or different lifestyles, or totally different plans is a time-bomb waiting to explode. Yet people convince themselves that they are choosing “security”, even if they’ve chosen to be with someone that deep down in their gut they know is wrong.
Relationships break down every single day. They are vulnerable to a thousand potential shocks, and to believe we are suddenly free from pain and rejection because we cling onto someone is one of the biggest reasons people seek comfort in bad relationships.
There’s nothing safe about playing it safe.
Myth #3 – You should be accepted 100% for ALL your worst flaws
I get jealous, that’s who I am. I’m needy, demanding, high-maintenance, but hey, that’s ME.
Ever heard those words?
We think that because someone has chosen us, they have to live with whatever we throw at them. We think we no longer need to strive to improve.
The truth is, relationships at often broken by our worst behaviours. And we have to work, not to eliminate our flaws, but to at least mitigate the worst manifestations of them.
After all, if we truly love someone, isn’t it worth it to not cause them pain?
Myth #4 – You shouldn’t need to try to keep your partner attracted
It’s easy to snigger at clichés about “keeping the spark alive”, and planning out romance.
But if there’s one thing that’s true from years of learning about relationships, it’s that people who are the happiest work on making each other happy. They do things to turn their partner on. They prioritize things like seduction and flirting and being sexy for the person they love.
To stop caring about our partner’s attraction is to do them a grave disservice. If we are asking someone to choose us, we should be asking ourselves every day: what can I do to make this person as attracted to me on day 10,000 as they were on day 1?